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Coronation held in Detroit Mob, new era beckons

Detroit mafia holds crowning affair for Jackie the Kid in traditional eastside mob stomping grounds

Underworld sources confirm that an inauguration ceremony for newly-appointed Detroit mafia boss Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone, 63, has taken place since the beginning of the year in a Motor City restaurant, similar to the one that was held for his predecessor Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco, 87, at a posh hunting lodge near Ann Arbor exactly 35 years ago last month.

More than one highly-placed street source, tells The Mob Insider that the ceremony, attended by all the crime family’s capos and high-ranking members, took place at an eatery in Eastern Market, which seems appropriate considering the region’s gangland-rich history and the Giacalones’ roots there specifically, both dating back more than 100 years.

Reports of Tocco, the longest-tenured LCN don in the United States, stepping aside and tabbing Jackie the Kid his official replacement – following a two-year stint as acting boss –, surfaced in the spring.

Locations mentioned as possible venues for the inauguration were Vivio’s Bar & Grill and The Roma Café or both.

Eastern Market is an area of Detroit long steeped in mafia culture, seeing numerous Detroit gangsters headquarter their operations out of the dual commerce and warehouse district on the city’s eastside all the way back to the start of the Twentieth Century.

Detroit’s first-ever Italian organized crime faction, the Adamo mob, led by Vito and Sam Adamo, was based in the Market during the late 1900s and early 1910s. Both Adamo brothers were shot-gunned to death there in 1913, after their near-decade reign over the city’s rackets, as was one of their predecessors and protégés Sam Gianola seven years later in 1920.

Veteran Detroit mobster Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone, Jackie the Kid’s dad, ran his crew out of Eastern Market from the 1960s until the 1990s, when he was jailed for the final time in his lengthy underworld career in the expansive Operation GameTax bust.

Jackie the Kid’s uncle and Billy Jack’s older brother was, Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, the syndicate’s forceful and fearsome street boss from 1960 until his death of cancer in 2001 (under indictment and awaiting trial in the same GameTax bust that ensnared his kid brother). The pair came up as youngsters in the Market, working for the area’s produce kings, Salvatore (Black Shirt Sam) Ciarmitaro and Joseph (White Shirt Joe) Ciarmitaro – both suspected to have been members of early-era Detroit LCN and the Giacalones’ uncle on their mother’s side.

Giacomo Giacalone, Tony and Billy Jack’s father and Jackie the Kid’s namesake and grandfather, was a legit fruit peddler in the Market throughout the 1910s, 20s and 30s.

For a large chunk of the 1970s and 1980s, Billy Jack headquartered his crew out of Farm Fresh Produce on Riopelle Avenue, using it as a breeding ground to school Jackie the Kid on the ways of the mob.

Constantly paranoid of government surveillance, Giacalone wouldn’t discuss business in the car, office or his house. He preferred using walk-and-talks and chats in the giant Farm Fresh freezer. The Feds couldn’t bug the freezer, due to the fact that the recording equipment would be disabled by the extreme low temperature, but they could bug the telephone poles on the street outside the business where Billy Jack would hold many of his meetings.

Jackie the Kid took his first major pinch and federal racketeering conviction in a 1983 case that spawned from those bugs that caught him and his dad discussing mafia activity and their collective fear of a coming government onslaught.

“The G is all over the place lately, they’re looking to make a bust…….and quick,” the younger Giacalone is heard telling his father in the summer of 1982. “I can’t make a move without one of these cocksuckers on my tale.”

The recent coronation of Jackie the Kid brings to memory Jack Tocco’s inauguration in June 1979, held at the ritzy Timberland Game Ranch in Dexter, Michigan, a suburb of Ann Arbor and photographed by a group of trailing FBI agents on routine surveillance duty. The ceremony to crown Giacalone boss is said to have most likely took place in March or early April, according to street sources.

One member of the local underworld informed The Mob Insider that the ceremony itself took place afterhours in the basement of Vivio’s and concluded with a late-night meal at the historic Roma Café, Detroit’s oldest restaurant, serving homemade Italian food to residents of the Motor City for 125 years. Per the source the festivities were officiated by consigliere Dominic (Uncle Dom) Bommarito and senior capo Antonino (Tony the Exterminator) Ruggirello, Jr. and the infirmed Jack Tocco attended the affair to give his blessing.

“Everyone got together, about two dozen of the top guys, and Dom and T.R. (another nickname for Ruggirello) told the room that this was a new beginning and that Jackie has the power now,” he said. “Then they all went over to the Roma Café and there was a big spread and everyone came over and congratulated Jackie and kissed Jack Tocco’s ring, who was sitting next to him. Jack can barely walk, but he still gets off on the respect thing. He’s always wanted people to bow to him and this was probably the last time it’s going to happen in an official capacity and he really drank it all in and enjoyed the
adulation and fawning.”

Bommarito, at 79, is the Family’s most-tenured “made” man currently in active duty, receiving his button in a 1950s ceremony conducted by legendary Motor City mob don Joseph (Joe Uno) Zerilli. He’s been Tocco’s consigliere for the past six years, replacing Black Jack’s brother, Anthony (Tony T) Tocco, who stepped down from his post in 2008 and died of natural causes in 2011.

Ruggirello hosted Tocco’s inauguration in 1979, around the same time Tony the Exterminator, 80, and his older brother Luigi (Louie the Bulldog) Ruggirello were promoted to captains.

The Ruggirello brothers owned the Timberland Game Ranch and were co-capos of a crew that looked after the Ann Arbor and Flint areas back then. Louie Ruggirello died of cancer in the late 1980s. Their father was Antonino (Big Tony) Ruggirello, Sr., a longtime driver, bodyguard and confidant of Tocco’s father, deceased don, William (Black Bill) Tocco, the Detroit mafia’s founding father.

Trying to account for the Timberland Game Ranch gathering at trial on the Operation Gametax arrest in 1998 ,- faced with photos of the event as evidence -, counsel for Jack Tocco unsuccessfully argued that the meet-up of widely-recognized local mob czars was to say goodbye to Big Tony Ruggirello, dying of cancer (Ruggirello passed away in 1980 and Tocco and most of his administration were convicted in the Gametax busted in the late 1990s and early 2000s).

Vivio’s used to be owned by Dominic (Big Dom) Vivio, Billy Giacalone’s driver and bodyguard, acting as a hangout for much of the Giacalone crew, because it was located down the street from Farm Fresh Produce. It’s now owned by relatives of Big Dom’s. Vivio currently lives in Pittsburgh in retirement, reputedly having gotten into a feud with Jack Tocco that led to his “shelving” a few years back. Big Dom was seen by FBI surveillance agents shuttling Billy Jack around town in the hours after labor boss Jimmy Hoffa vanished in July 1975. Billy Giacalone (died in 2012) is considered a prime suspect in the famed Hoffa disappearance and murder, possibly the triggerman.

The Roma Café, also located down the street from the former Farm Fresh Produce building, (but in the other direction; north opposed to south), has been a popular wiseguy hangout dating back to the Adamo Gang days. During his visits to the Motor City, singer and well-known mob associate Frank Sinatra used to set up shop at the Roma Café, eating dinner there every single night he was in town, entertaining huge entourages that included celebrities, pro sports figures and mobsters alike.

Mike Carone, a retired FBI agent that worked the Detroit crime family for three decades and was present outside of the Timberland Game Ranch during Tocco’s crowning ceremony in 1979, isn’t shocked the syndicate followed a similar pattern in how they anointed Jackie Giacalone Godfather (hopefully for their sake, minus the presence of camera-toting Feds)

“The scenario fits, it seems about right in how they would handle the change-over in leadership,” Carone said. “I’m sure they took precautions to try to make sure what happened last time didn’t happen this time. Jackie is pretty cautious. Jack Tocco and his crew (Dom Bommarito and Tony Ruggirello) double that, so I’d say only the main people in the Family were present. They probably took a vote and toasted Jackie and that was that. It’s more pageantry than anything, everyone has known that Jackie was getting the reins for years now. This just makes it official.”

Jersey Boys bust, East Coast mob gambling ring cracked

NJ wiseguys get “Back in the Game,’’ indicted in multi-million-dollar gambling ring

The Tribeca Spa of Tranquility in New York wasn’t so tranquil earlier this month when police raided the day-rejuvenation clinic in New York City, part of a wide-scale illegal bookmaking operation spawning out of Bergen County in New Jersey and alleged to have been taking in millions of dollars a year in profits.

The lead defendant in the case, which saw 29 individuals arrested and $800,000 cash seized, is high-level New Jersey mob associate Gary (Baldy) Latawiec, described by law enforcement and street sources as “one of the biggest bookies and sports handicappers in the country,” who uses the spa as a hangout and whose wife owns it.

Titled “Operation Back in The Game,” the indictment named Latawiec, 76, and Anthony Pintabona, 72, of Secaucus, New Jersey, as overseers of the operation and some two dozen workers that took bets on college and professional sports and horse racing and then laundered the proceeds.

Bergen County Judge Lilliana DeAvila-Silebi ordered both Latawiec and Pintabona, each quite familiar with the criminal justice system from past brushes with the law, held on the charges, setting bail at one million dollars apiece.

This is Pintabona’s third gambling-related collar in the last six years – he was convicted after busts in 2008 and 2013, respectively.

Latawiec is of Polish ancestry and has been on law enforcement’s radar for several decades, considered by the FBI as an associate in New Jersey’s wing of the Genovese Crime Family as far back as the 1970s. Informants tell the Feds that Latawiec has moved in circles with powerful Genovese New Jersey capos like Tino (The Greek) Fiumara, Angelo (The Horn) Prisco and Ludwig (Ninny) Bruschi. In one New Jersey State Police report from 1978, Latawiec was said to be delivering gambling proceeds and tribute payments to Genovese lieutenant Anthony Cirillo. Sources close to the current case, peg Bruschi as his current contact with the Genoveses’.

The last time Baldy Latawiec was behind bars was in the 1990s due to back-to-back gambling and racketeering-related convictions that first saw the crafty sports-betting czar busted in 1992 for running a 1-800 telephone call-in ring based jointly out of New Jersey and Costa Rica and then the following year, once again, for similar activities while locked up in a federal prison.

New England marks silver anniversary of mob war

Twenty fifth-anniversary of New England mob war finds some players still locked up, others dead, off to greener pastures

Long-simmering tensions in the aftermath of the death of legendary New England mafia don, Raymond Patriarca finally reached a boiling point a half-decade after the Providence-based Godfather breathed his last breath, when rival factions of the crime family bearing his name went to war this summer 25 years ago.

After heading the Family for 32 years, earning the reputation as one of America’s most feared and respected mob bosses of the Twentieth Century, Patriarca, 76, died of a heart attack in July 1984, leaving behind a pair of murder indictments and passing the torch of power to his son, Raymond Patriarca, Jr., known simply as “Junior” or “Ray Rubber Lips.”

The transition on the throne from father to son didn’t go smooth.

Early in Junior Patriarca’s reign, turmoil began surfacing, splitting the organization in half. On one side of the gangland tug-of-war was Patriarca and his ruthless underboss William (Billy the Wild Man) Grasso. On the other side were cagey capo-turned-consigliere Joseph (J.R.) Russo and his protégé, Vincent (Vinnie the Animal) Ferrara.

The one bridge between the two factions was beloved and highly-feared North End mob heavyweight Larry Zannino. When Zannino was imprisoned in 1987, the door for further dissention in the ranks was opened.

All the ill feelings in the Family finally came to a head in 1989, shortly following the release from prison of Patriarca-loyalist Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme, a savvy and heavily-connected mobster jailed since the 1970s for his role in past Boston gangland wars. His return to town was the spark that ignited the body-strewn conflict.

Cadillac Frank, intelligent and charismatic and a favorite lieutenant of Raymond Patriarca, Sr, was sprung from behind bars in the fall of 1988 and immediately started politicking around East Coast mob circles, angling for quick advancement and hoping to leverage the discontent in his own advantage.

It worked. And by the beginning of the summer of 1989, Salemme, who was tightly aligned with notorious Boston Irish mob boss James (Whitey) Bulger, was poised to take control of the entire New England mafia. – he had convinced the increasingly-unpopular Junior Patriarca to step aside as Godfather and name him his replacement.

This didn’t sit well with J.R. Russo, desiring the leadership in the Borgata to reside with him and his followers.

An East Boston gangster known for his regal flair and a penchant for fine European-made suits, Russo had cemented his rising-star status in the mafia over a dozen years earlier by shot-gunning infamous New England mob strong-arm and informant Joseph (Joe the Animal) Barboza to death in February 1976. Barboza, believed to have been a triggerman in more than 20 murders and someone whose testimony helped jail the elder Patriarca, was in hiding in San Francisco, the first person ever to enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.

Years later, Larry Zannino was caught discussing the hit on an FBI wiretap, calling Russo a “genius with a carbine in his hands.” Memos from Russo’s FBI file state that, per informants, Russo felt strongly that the “piece of work” he did on behalf of Patriarca should have held more weight in the organization and that he resented Junior’s attitude towards him and allegiance to Grasso.

Junior’s decision to side with Salemme pushed Russo over the edge, prompting his power-grab, and in June 1989, just as the weather in Beantown was getting hot and muggy, hostilities bubbled over and a heated shooting war erupted in frenzied fashion.

Russo’s group coordinated an ambitious double-execution plan, trying to whack Salemme and Grasso on the same day. Assassin teams were dispatched to do away with the fierce-tempered Grasso on the morning of June 16, 1989 and then Salemme hours later that afternoon.

The daring murder plot was only partially successful. While Grasso was shot and killed sitting in the passengers’ seat of a van driving on a Hartford expressway by “button man” Gaetano Milano (his body dumped in a shallow riverbed), Salemme survived his attack, which took place at an International House of Pancakes in Saugus, Massachusetts.

Summoned to a meeting at the suburban Boston restaurant by longtime friend and fellow Mafiosi, Angelo (Sonny) Mercurio – soon thereafter revealed to be an FBI informant, but at the time perceived to be a trusted ally –, the moment Cadillac Frank stepped out of his gleaming-new black Mercedes in the parking lot he was met with a fusillade of gunfire.

The hit squad that included East Boston mobsters, Vincent (Gigi) Marino and Rico Ponzo, boxed Salemme’s vehicle in with their own and chased him through the IHOP shooting at him as he fled towards a nearby shopping mall. Wounded in the chest, shoulder, back and leg, the aspiring don took refuge in a pizza parlor and had employees call 911.

Under siege, a shaken Junior Patriarca was called to a sit-down with Russo in the aftermath of the June 13 attacks and bluntly told he would be killed if he didn’t retire immediately.

There would be a reprieve from the violence in the coming months, as John Gotti, boss of New York’s Gambino Crime Family, brokered a temporary halt in the rising tensions in the fall of 1989. This led to a conciliatory “making” ceremony held in October that inducted members aligned with Russo and acted as a de-facto peace accord between the two factions, specifically Russo and Patriarca.

Because of Mercurio being a double-agent, the FBI was able to record the ceremony and use it to convict its’ participants, an historical coup for the government.

“We’re all here to bring some new members into our Family and start a new beginning,” Patriarcha is heard addressing the room. “Hopefully, we’ll leave here what happened in years past and let bygones be bygones and there will be a good future for all of us.”

Better for some than others it turned out.

Patriarca was quickly forced out of the boss’ chair in favor of Nicky Bianco, a Russo confidant that like Russo was nailed on a racketeering conviction in the early 1990s, paving the way for the long-awaited ascension of Cadillac Frank Salemme.

Finally at the helm of the crime family he almost died for two years previously, Salemme, according to state police reports and federal documents, reignited the shooting war and used his new role as don to exact revenge on those that had opposed his reign in the late 1980s. Between March 1991 and November 1992, six bodies would turn up.

The Russo faction struck back in 1993, when according to court filings, Bobby Carrozza, Russo’s half-brother and No. 2 in charge, ordered his underlings to take aim at Salemme’s group for his retribution tactics.

One of the main targets was Richard (Richie the Hatchet) Devlin, a convicted murderer and Cadillac Frank’s top muscle. The fiery Irishman was found shot in the back of the head, adorned in a bullet-proof vest behind the wheel of his car on March 31, 1994. Devlin’s brutal demise brought an end to a notorious underworld career that saw him gain his nickname for beheading a man in 1971 and then throwing his headless, hatchet-impaled body into Boston’s Dorchester Bay.

Salemme was busted on racketeering offenses in 1995, concluding a carnage-stacked era for the New England mafia where authorities tie more than a dozen homicides to the multi-year power struggle. Cadillac Frank eventually became a cooperating witness for the government and although he had to serve additional time for lying in his FBI debriefing about Bianco ordering the murder of nightclub owner and mob associate, Steve Disarro in May 1993, Salemme, 80, is currently living in Boston as a free man and is “out of the life” (Disarro’s murder is officially unsolved, however, authorities are convinced that Frank Salemme, Jr, strangled him in front of his father and then the pair disposed of the body, which has never been found, in tandem).

Cadillac Frank is one of three major players from the last New England mob war to have successfully transitioned into a life of legitimacy. Far removed from his days as a don, Junior Patriarca, 68, is a real estate salesman in Rhode Island. Vinnie the Animal Ferrera, once tabbed by mafia insiders an almost-certain future boss of the Family, left his gangland interests by the wayside upon his release from prison in 2005 and the 64-year old former capo once renowned for his ferocity, is now a mild-mannered businessman in his one-time mob stomping grounds of the North End.

Nicky Bianco and J.R. Russo would die behind bars. Gaetano Milano and his accomplices in clipping Grasso, brothers, Frank (Frankie Pug) Pugliano and Louis (Louie Pug) Pugliano and childhood friend, Frank (Frankie C) Colatoni, Jr., have all been released from prison.

Gigi Marino and Rico Ponzo, the shooters in the failed Salemme hit back in 1989, remain incarcerated, Marino having been there since the mid-1990s on a racketeering pinch and Ponzo, for the past three years after hiding in Idaho the prior decade and a half ducking arrest in the same case.

“It was a treacherous period for the Family,” said one high-ranking Patriarca clan associate. “The atmosphere was very unstable for a long time. You had to have three eyes in the back of your head. Cadillac Frank always elicited passionate support and passionate hatred. Junior was a weak leader and Billy Grasso and J.R. Russo were crazy power hungry. Just like Saleeme, they wanted to use the situation to their advantage and fill the void themselves. Once Cadillac Frank got the reins, instead of things settling down, like some thought, they only ramped up.”

Detroit mafia installs new administration

Getting his house in order

The scuttlebutt on the street in the Motor City is that newly-anointed Detroit mob don Jack (Jackie the Kid) Giacalone has officially appointed his cabinet, so to speak, recently filling slots for his underboss, street boss and consigliere posts.

There were no surprises in the selections.

Underworld sources claim that Giacalone, 62, tapped Anthony (Chicago Tony) La Piana his underboss, Peter (Specs) Tocco his street boss and Anthony (Tony Pal) Palazzolo his acting consigliere, with a promise to move him into the position in a permanent capacity soon.

Earlier this year, Giacalone was named only the fourth-ever Godfather in the 83-year history of the Midwest mafia family that his father and uncle helped build and protect dating back to the 1930s through the 2000s, replacing the retiring Giacomo (Black Jack) Tocco, 87, previously the longest-sitting mafia boss in the United States, leading the Family for the past three and a half decades.

Tocco went into semi-retirement two years ago, easing Giacalone into the role of don, appointing him acting boss in 2012. Prior to the promotion, Jackie the Kid, the son of deceased underboss Vito (Billy Jack) Giacalone and nephew of Michigan mob icon Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, was the syndicate’s street boss for roughly 15 years. He took over for his uncle who died of cancer in 2001 while under a massive federal racketeering indictment he would never face in court after 40 years running the Family’s day-to-day affairs.

Informants tell local law enforcement that It’s been long known across the Motor City mob landscape that Jackie the Kid, Chicago Tony, Tony Pal and Specs Tocco represented the future hierarchy of the Family, a foursome of capos Black Jack hand-picked more than a decade ago.

La Piana, 71, is a protégé and nephew via marriage of Jack Tocco. Born and raised in Chicago, he married Michigan LCN royalty, wedding the daughter of capo and future underboss Vincent (Little Vince) Meli, in 1974 and moving to Detroit, after years in the Windy City learning the tricks of the gangland trade from mob heavyweights like, John (Johnny No Nose) Di Fronzo and Sam (Wings) Carlisi.

Although La Piana has been identified as a major Midwest mafia power broker in numerous federal government reports, U.S. congressional committee testimony and police intelligence logs over the last 30 years, he hasn’t faced criminal charges since he was a young mob wannabe on the Westside of Chicago in the late-1960s. Chicago Tony beat federal truck-hijacking charges out of Illinois at trial in 1968. He was called Jack Tocco’s “lieutenant for labor union affairs” at Tocco’s federal racketeering trial in 1998, however avoided ensnarement in the giant Operation GameTax bust himself.

Tony Pal oversees Detroit’s Downriver area and is in charge of the Family’s rackets in Canada. His last run-in with the law came in 1993 when he was arrested and served time for operating a money-laundering service for local underworld types looking to wash their criminal proceeds. FBI audio surveillance caught Palazzolo bragging to an undercover policemen from Canada that, “This is my city,” as he gazed out the window of a hotel suite at the Detroit skyline.

Palazollo, 73, had his name surface in the Jimmy Hoffa murder investigation, both at the time that it occurred in 1975 and last year, when deposed Detroit underboss Anthony (Tony Z) Zerilli pointed the FBI to a piece of property once-owned by Jack Tocco, his first-cousin, in suburban Oakland County and told investigators that he was informed by Tony Giacalone that Palazzolo bludgeoned Hoffa with a shovel and then buried him there alive. According to what

Giacalone filled Zerilli in on, Hoffa was lured to the property by then-capo Peter (Bozzi) Vitale, the Family’s longtime “Godfather of Greektown” (a popular entertainment district downtown) and Tony Pal’s mentor.

While Tocco’s underboss and the city’s undisputed porno king for the past 50 years, Joseph (Joe Hooks) Mirabile is retiring along with him, his consigliere Dominic (Uncle Dom) Bommarito is said to be staying on temporarily to help guide the transition of power. Uncle Dom is expected to step aside in the next year or two and pass the No. 3 spot on the Family totem pole to Palazollo.

Specs Tocco, Jack Tocco’s nephew, has been acting street boss since 2012 when Jackie the Kid Giacalone got bumped up to acting boss. Both Specs, (sometimes also referred to by his childhood nickname, “Blackie”) and Jackie the Kid were indicted on federal racketeering and gambling charges in 2006, the lead defendants in a case which saw Tocco, 66, convicted and hit with prison time (2 and a half years) and Giacalone acquitted at trial.

Giacalone, Specs Tocco and La Piana are alleged to have all been “made” together in a February 1986 induction ceremony and according to informants and FBI documents, “made their bones” alongside each other. All three are considered suspects in the 1984 murder of labor leader Ralph Proctor, a onetime Hoffa ally, and Giacalone and Tocco, are suspects in the 1985 slayings of Detroit underworld figures Peter (Fast Pete) Cavataio and Harold (Harry Mack) Macairz.

The Family’s new brass keeps the balance between the syndicates’ street and boardroom groups that has existed ever since Jack Tocco took power in the 1970s, with Giacalone, like his father an uncle before him, representing the blue-collar faction and La Piana, the white-collar faction.

Retired federal prosecutor and Detroit mob nemesis Keith Corbett compares the situation to a successfully-implemented “Castellano-Gotti” alliance, referencing the power split in New York’s Gambino Family during the 1980s where roughneck John Gotti seized control by assassinating the more refined, business-oriented Paul Castellano.

“Jack Tocco was always more akin to Castellano and the Giacalones more like Gotti and unlike what happened in New York they always made it work, so I see no reason why this new arrangement, which is similar, but not an exact replica, won’t work as well,” he said. “Now, it’s just reversed with whose No. 1 and whose No. 2. In the tradition of his family, Jackie is more Gotti and La Piana, who was brought up under Tocco, is more Castellano. I’m pretty sure just like with Jack Tocco, Tony La Piana is fine being in the background and having a Giacalone out in front taking most of the exposure.”

The Giacalone brothers in tandem did significant more prison time and faced numerous more indictments in their gangland careers than Jack Tocco and his brother and top aide Anthony (Tony T) Tocco (died in 2012) – well over 25 years locked up combined for the Giacalones against a paltry two for the Toccos.

 

Rhode Island mob capo coming home to ruins

Back in play…..almost

The crime family New England mob capo Matthew (Good Looking Matty) Guglielmeti, Jr. is returning to this year is quite a bit different from the one he left in 2005. And not in a good way.

Guglielmeti, 64 of Rhode Island, was released to a halfway house in mid-June, where he will stay until December, after spending the past nine years in a federal prison for a racketeering conviction related to his job as steward for a labor union and the protection of drug shipments.

When Good Looking Matty, a powerhouse in the Patriarca Family and aide-de-camp to East Coast dons for decades, went away in 2005, the syndicate that controls the rackets in Boston, Rhode Island and Connecticut was in stable condition. Today it’s in tatters.

Over the last five years, boss Luigi (Baby Shacks) Manocchio was jailed for shaking down strips clubs in Rhode Island and top-echelon capos Robert (Bobby Cigars) De Luca of Providence and Mark Rosetti of Boston each became government informants, leaving the Family reeling.

Manocchio, one of Guglielmetti’s mafia mentors, is set to be released this year, too, but the 87-year old Godfather is alleged to have voluntarily stepped aside prior to his incarceration in favor of Boston’s Peter (The Crazy Horse) Limone and the Dinunzio brothers (Carmine and Anthony), both currently in jail themselves.

The son of Patriarca solider, Matthew Guglielmetti, Sr., Good Looking Matty made headlines early in his career in the underworld. First he engaged in a taped verbal confrontation with reporters and cameramen at the funeral of legendary crime family namesake Raymond Patriarca, Sr. in 1984 and then he was caught attending a 1989 making ceremony that was recorded by the FBI and resulted in the first federal racketeering conviction on his rap sheet in 1991 for being in charge of syndicate activity Connecticut.

At the time of his most recent bust, Guglielmetti was reputed to be looking after gambling and loan sharking in Connecticut and Rhode Island for the Family.

His reputation as a stand-up guy was enhanced in 1997 when he arrived at a Providence Memorial Hospital with stab wounds and refused to identify his attackers to medical personnel and responding detectives.

Whether Good Looking Matty looks to reestablish his roots in the Patriarca clan is up in the air for right now, however, the chances of him getting out of the business, like the elderly Baby Shacks Manocchio, seem unlikely.

“I hope he stays out of it and I wish him the best as he moves on to the next part of his life,” Rhode Island Police Commander Steven O’Connell said. “If you are a sworn member of the mafia though, it’s tough to get out. Even if you wanted to.”